As England’s 2023 Women’s World Cup squad came through on Wednesday afternoon, murmurs bubbled up around the room which Lionesses head coach Sarina Wiegman was soon to walk into for her post-announcement press conference. Bethany England had received her first call-up for her country since September – and what a time to get it.
Just over six months ago, the chances of her getting a ticket on the plane seemed impossible. England had spent the first half of the season struggling for gametime at Chelsea. When Sam Kerr first arrived at the club, the pair had worked well together on the pitch, but it would soon prove to be a case of one or the other in manager Emma Hayes’ starting line ups.
In the January transfer window, then, England made a big decision. Seven years after joining Chelsea, a spell which had seen her win nine trophies with the team, multiple individual accolades and the hearts of the fans, she would leave – and join relegation-threatened Spurs.
She wanted to get the gametime to go to the World Cup, but would she get the service at the north London club to produce form worthy of a place in the squad? It was certainly a risk - Spurs had scored just 11 goals in nine games.
But after Wednesday's announcement, it would all prove worthwhile, and now England has a chance to help her country win the 2023 Women’s World Cup.